Dry Heat

On his 18th birthday, Joey Blades has the world at his feet: two full college scholarships, a new girlfriend, and the excitement of a bonfire on school grounds. Then he makes a seemingly minor decision — to hop in the bed of a pickup truck — and before he realizes it, everything is gone and he’s looking at a long prison stretch.

In the midst of all this, his ex-girlfriend calmly informs him she’s pregnant and will raise the baby on her own. He immediately shifts into family gear, surprised how much he longs to build a family with her, but his life is devoured by the legal charges he faces.

Then, in the final third of the novel, the story shifts to Joey, now Joseph, living an austere life in the cabin he built for himself. He reads, birdwatches, and works for an old friend as an all-purpose handyman, who pays him in cash every week. And he discovers that all is not right in his family, offering him an opportunity at redemption he never expected.

Len Joy has written a story that’s a punch to the solar plexus, demonstrating that a man can rise from the ashes of his past and find unexpected joy.




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